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Military Resistance 11E4
Swearing Out Time
From: Dennis Serdel To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: May 06, 2013 Subject: Swearing Out Time Written by Dennis Serdel, Vietnam 1967-68 (one tour) Light Infantry, Americal Div. 11th Brigade; United Auto Workers GM Retiree ****************************************************************
Swearing Out Time The Vietnam Combat Vets did Not have to serve in the National Guard when their tour ended Upon their return they were measured & fitted into Army Dress Green Uniforms with all their medals & ribbons
Haircuts & $700 Separation Pay then had to endure one final boring lecture by the Brass in a Basketball Court Building sitting on one side in the bleachers when Brass after Brass took the microphone on a Stand in center court & talked their talk & then sat down, then another one would go through their drill, the Grunts said nothing just waiting for this to be over until this Brass Clown stood up & took the mike and said, "There are No Jobs out there & you should think about staying in the Army," as a Grunt shouted "Fuck You," "No, Wait a Minute," he said, as another shouted, "Shut Up Motherfucker," "Listen Up," he said. Then All the Grunts Stood Up & began Swearing, calling him an Asshole, Cocksucker Shitface Bastard Prick Scumbag & the Crescendo of the Grunts became so Loud that this Guy became so Mad, that He screamed into the Mike, "Fuck All Of You" & then went to sit down as the Grunts screamed back "Fuck You Too." The Grunts applauded when the Clown Sat Down, Looking & Laughing with each other because they knew it was Over. Then the next Brass stood at the mike, on another topic, the crowd's anger was already released so they sat down again & listened some more until they were Dismissed & then began walking through a long hallway FREE as one Grunt took off his uniform in the hallway & threw it on a garbage can slipped into jeans, a T-shirt, tennis shoes as others saw the uniform draped upon the garbage can as they passed by in October 1968 in Oakland, California
writing by Dennis Serdel for Military Resistance
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
5 Fort Bliss Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan
May 6, 2013 By Jamel E. Valencia and Bill Melugin, KFOX14 [Excerpt] EL PASO, Texas — The names of the five Fort Bliss soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Saturday have been released. The soldiers were on patrol in Kandahar province when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. The following soldiers have been identified by Army officials as those who were killed in the explosion: Army Spc. Kevin Cardoza, 19, from Mercedes, Texas. Cardoza leaves behind two daughters. Army Spc. Brandon Prescott, 24, from Bend, Ore. Prescott leaves behind his parents and three brothers. Army Spc. Thomas Paige Murach, 22, from Meridian, Idaho. Murach also leaves behind his parents and three brothers. First Lt. Brandon J Landrum, 26, from Lawton, Okla. Landrum leaves behind a wife, a son, and a daughter. Staff Sgt. Francis G. Phillips IV, 28, from Meridian, N.Y. Phillips leaves behind a wife and a daughter. Murach had posted the following statement on his Facebook page before he died: "If you think miracles don't happen anymore or that God doesn't answer prayer, I am proof to the contrary. “I drive the lead vehicle when our platoon goes out on mission and we unknowingly rolled over an IED several times on a route that we travel down all the time. “They recently found it and took care of it, but it could have exploded at anytime we drove over it, but it didn't. I give God all the praise and glory for keeping all of us safe. Thank you to everyone who prays for us and please keep the prayers coming, they are working."
1 German Soldier Killed, 1 Wounded In Baghlan
May 05 2013 Associated Press, Berlin The German military says one of its soldiers has been killed and another one wounded in fighting with insurgents in northern Afghanistan. It said Sunday the soldiers were accompanying an Afghan-led military operation in Baghlan province when they came under fire Saturday. It says the troops called in air support but one soldier was fatally shot later when exploring the airstrike's damage. The military says it assumes several insurgents were killed in the fighting, adding that the situation was still developing. German troops are in charge of much of the country's north, which tends to be relatively peaceful. Seven U.S. soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan Saturday.
Dacusville Soldier Dies From Wounds Sustained In Afghanistan
Apr. 22, 2013 by Julie Howle, Staff Writer, Greenville online
Yellow ribbons dotted homes and mailboxes throughout Pickens County Monday after a 20-year-old soldier from Dacusville described as being “full of life” and having “never met a stranger” died of injuries suffered in Afghanistan. Army Pfc. Barrett L. Austin of Easley died April 21 in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries suffered when his vehicle was attacked April 17 by an enemy improvised explosive device in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. A release from the department said Austin was assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. Austin was described as “a wonderful young man” who was “so full of life and very proud to have the honor of serving his country” in a statement from staff at the Sunburst Salon and Spa in Easley, which Barrett’s mother owns. It “has been very hard on the community, but the community has shown such amazing support and love,” the statement said. “He will be greatly missed,” it said. Nick McClellan, associate pastor at Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Easley, said he helped lead a prayer vigil for Barrett and his family Thursday night in the parking lot of the salon. McClellan said a few of the staff at the Sunburst Salon attend services at Brushy Creek and asked him to help. “At the prayer vigil, it was obvious that the community came together,” he said. “No matter whether you know him or not, you’re connected to him, not only him just being from our county but the fact that every American soldier has us in mind the day they enlist,” McClellan said. “They know what they’re fighting for.” Many people have posted comments and supportive messages on a page of a Facebook group, Bows for Barrett, designed to show the community’s support of Austin and his family. The page asked the Dacusville and Pickens community to support the family by hanging a yellow bow from their homes or mailboxes. Candace Lanier, a friend of the family and neighbor of Austin’s parents, said an honor parade was planned for Monday night when the family returned to show the community’s support, and at least 700 people were expected to participate.
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
SOMALIA WAR REPORTS
8 Killed When Car Bomber “Targeted A Convoy Of Government Vehicles At Mogadishu’s Busy KM4 Junction”
“Car Bomber Struck A Convoy Of Government Vehicles Transporting A Qatar Aid Delegation”
May 5, 2013 Garowe Online MOGADISHU, Somalia: At least 8 persons were killed and other 25 others wounded in two separate bombings Mogadishu on Sunday, Garowe Online reports. The bombings occurred one day after Mogadishu’s main roads were reopened after a four-day closure by Somali government forces, due to a high level security alert regarding car bombings, security sources tell Garowe Online. A car bomber targeted a convoy of government vehicles at Mogadishu’s busy KM4 junction. BBC Somali Service reported that 8 persons were killed when the car bomber struck a convoy of government vehicles transporting a Qatar aid delegation. A Somali police official who survived the bombing, Gen. Garaad Nur, confirmed that death toll, adding that the Qatari aid delegation survived the bombing, which damaged the convoy of government vehicles. Gen. Nur stated that Somali Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled was not travelling with the Qatari delegation, but the heavy explosion damaged the Minister’s vehicle. Medina Hospital staff told reporters in Mogadishu that another 20 persons, including four critically wounded civilians, were wounded in the explosion. In a separate incident, a roadside bomb struck the vehicle of Somali government forces in Mogadishu’s Dayniile district. At least 5 soldiers were wounded in the roadside explosions, witnesses reported. Somalia's federal government, aided by African troops (AMISOM), controls Mogadishu and the surrounding regions, but Al Shabaab militants have presence in rural areas and hide among the public in urban centers.
NOT ANOTHER DAY NOT ANOTHER DOLLAR NOT ANOTHER LIFE
The coffin containing Staff Sgt. Marc Scialdo, at his funeral March 22, 2013 at Palm Royale Cemetery Mausoleum in Naples, Fla. Scialdo, 31, was laid to rest with full military honors after an hour-long funeral ceremony at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church. Hundreds of friends, family and military supporters, came to pay their final respects. He was killed March 11 when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter he was traveling in crashed in Afghanistan. Photo by COREY PERRINE, Naples Daily News
VA Backlog Follows Veterans To The Grave:
“Jack Received An Honorable Discharge And Sought Treatment
For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Before His Suicide”
“The Department Of Veterans Affairs Denied His Widow’s Request To Help Pay For His Burial And Declined To Grant The Monthly Compensation Intended For Survivors”
“By The Time The Agency Reversed Itself, Sheryl Had Lost Her Home To Foreclosure And Racked Up $700 In Interest On A High-Interest Loan She’d Taken Out To Pay For The Funeral”
Sheryl Cornelius, widow of Jack Cornelius, a Vietnam veteran who killed himself in the family home in 2009, visits his grave at a cemetery in Hinton, Okla. With her are her sons, Jim Ray (left) and Ian Ray; Ian's wife, Robyn Ray; and their two children, Abbigael Graice and Eli. Credit: Paul Hellstern/For the Center for Investigative Reporting
Jack Cornelius was 19 when he was deployed to Vietnam. He served in the port of Cat Lai during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Credit: Courtesy of Sheryl Cornelius
Jack Cornelius, shown with one of his grandchildren, struggled with alcohol and sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder before his suicide in 2009. Credit: Courtesy of Sheryl Cornelius
A letter that Jack Cornelius sent to his father describing an attack during the Tet Offensive later became crucial to proving the veteran's post-traumatic stress disorder was linked to his military service. Credit: Courtesy of Sheryl Cornelius Internal VA documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveal an escalating number of widows and widowers are waiting for burial benefits and survivors’ pensions – breaking America’s final promise to its veterans. The ranks of widows, widowers, children and parents waiting for a nominal burial benefit – between $600 and $2,000 – nearly tripled during Obama’s first term: from 23,000 to 65,000. [Thanks to Phil G, who sent this in.] May 01, 2013 by Aaron Glantz, Center for Investigative Reporting [Excerpts] Jack Cornelius sat in a wingback chair in his living room in the small town of Hinton, Okla., pointed a .22-caliber Sears, Roebuck & Co. rifle at his left temple and pulled the trigger. When his wife, Hinton Mayor Sheryl Ann Cornelius, arrived home that evening, he was slumped in his chair, still clutching the gun. Forty years after serving during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Jack remained tortured by the war. In the years before his death, the 61-year-old U.S. Army veteran downed prodigious amounts of vodka, drove his truck to random locations and talked of dead bodies floating in the water. But even though Jack received an honorable discharge and sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder before his suicide in July 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs denied his widow’s request to help pay for his burial and declined to grant the monthly compensation intended for survivors of veterans with deaths linked to military service.
By the time the agency reversed itself a year later, Sheryl had lost her home to foreclosure and racked up $700 in interest on a high-interest loan she’d taken out to pay for the funeral. The 58-year-old widow speaks with a soft Oklahoma accent. In the aftermath of two strokes, she moves slowly. And she has a strong sense of justice, rooted in her Southern Baptist upbringing. “I needed the money,” Sheryl said, “but it was more important to me that the government admit that his death was caused by the war, that someone take responsibility for it.”
“An Escalating Number Of Widows And Widowers Are Waiting For Burial Benefits And Survivors’ Pensions – Breaking America’s Final Promise To Its Veterans”
Internal VA documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveal an escalating number of widows and widowers are waiting for burial benefits and survivors’ pensions – breaking America’s final promise to its veterans. Congressional and media scrutiny followed CIR’s March report that internal documents showed the number of veterans waiting more than a year for disability compensation had increased by 2,000 percent under President Barack Obama, from about 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December. Those documents also show that the bureaucratic logjam follows veterans to the grave. The ranks of widows, widowers, children and parents waiting for a nominal burial benefit – between $600 and $2,000 – nearly tripled during Obama’s first term: from 23,000 to 65,000. The average wait time for a funeral subsidy had reached 207 days in December, from two months four years before. In addition, 50,000 survivors were waiting an average of 229 days to find out whether they qualified for a pension – twice as long as in 2009. That part of the backlog is especially tragic, observers say, because most of the survivors are elderly widows who depended on their husbands’ VA pensions before their deaths. “My mother had to get down to her last dime, literally, before they came through,” said Susan Landau, whose 94-year-old mother, Helen Fisher, suffers from severe Alzheimer’s disease. She lives in San Bernardino County, Calif., and waited more than a year for the VA to approve a nursing home subsidy for survivors of wartime veterans. Finch’s husband, John Fisher, died four years ago. He received a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars for his service in World War II.
In a statement, the VA repeated its current mantra about all benefit delays, saying they were unacceptable, but offered no explanation for why the number of survivors waiting for benefits had ballooned. Unlike the rise in pending disability claims, partly tied to the large numbers of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan and diseases newly connected to Agent Orange, there has been no substantial increase in survivors requesting burial benefits or pensions. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, the Florida Republican who leads the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, singled out the backlog of burial benefits as particularly egregious. “VA has continually demonstrated an inability to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Miller said. “With so much of the department’s attention focused on eliminating the disability benefits backlog, burial benefits claims are languishing.” Jack Cornelius never asked the VA to compensate him for post-traumatic stress disorder. But three months before he died, he went to the VA for help. Sheryl Cornelius and her three adult children had confronted him, demanding that he stop drinking and seek treatment. At Oklahoma City’s VA hospital, doctors prescribed a series of psychotropic drugs, and, according to hospital records, issued a directive that he be “closely watched” by the health care system.
“The Agency Said That While Jack’s Unit Sustained Casualties When It Came Under Repeated Mortar Attack,” Available Evidence Is Insufficient To Confirm That The Veteran Actually Experienced A Stressful Event”
On June 11, 2009, at Jack’s final appointment before his death, psychiatrist Lorenzo Araujo wrote that he had started drinking again and that “his PTSD symptoms were exacerbated and he is having frequent nightmares, irritable, and at times feeling violent.” So the family was shocked when, three months after Jack shot himself, the VA refused to subsidize his funeral or provide Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, a monthly stipend for survivors of veterans whose deaths are linked to military service. In its three-page decision, the agency said that while Jack’s unit sustained casualties when it came under repeated mortar attack during the Tet Offensive, the “available evidence is insufficient to confirm that the veteran actually experienced a stressful event during his military service.” In its decision, the VA said there was no proof that Jack’s PTSD was caused by the war and no proof that his death, the “self inflicted rifle wound to the head,” was linked to PTSD.
Instead of granting Sheryl a $2,000 burial subsidy and a $1,215-a-month benefits check, the agency approved a $539-a-month death pension available to the surviving spouse of any low-income wartime veteran. That wasn’t enough to keep Sheryl from losing the home she and Jack had shared. And it filled her with rage, because she wanted someone, anyone, in the government to take responsibility for Jack’s death. In a statement responding to CIR, the VA stood by that initial decision: “Mr. Cornelius’s death certificate did not indicate that his mental disability caused or contributed to his death and VA issued a rating decision based on this information.”
Sheryl was Jack’s third wife. His first marriage ended almost as soon as he came home from Vietnam in 1969. His second lasted 23 years but, in retrospect, may have been damaged from the start by the lingering trauma of war. “I really don’t know if I was madly in love with him or not. I was 19 and was ready to get out of the house,” said Cindy Cornelius, who kept Jack’s name even after the divorce because they had raised three children together. When they first met, Cindy said Jack wined and dined her. A gregarious man with a Fu Manchu mustache, he took her out for lobster dinners and drove her around Oklahoma City in his gray Corvette. But almost as soon as they married, Cindy saw a part of Jack that he’d kept hidden during their courtship.
“He Would Rail About The War, Usually About Dead Bodies He Saw In The River During The Tet Offensive”
Jack’s flashbacks and nightmares were so intense that he almost always slept on the couch. He smoked marijuana constantly. He never talked about Vietnam when he was sober, but when he drank, he would rail about the war, usually about dead bodies he saw in the river during the Tet Offensive. Jack put together a scrapbook of pictures of himself in uniform and pasted in a 1979 article published by the Associated Press on a VA-commissioned poll that found a majority of Americans believed Vietnam veterans were “suckers, having to risk their lives in the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” In January 1997, Cindy and Jack divorced. Five months later, he and Sheryl married in Las Vegas. Sheryl had recently moved her family to Hinton, about an hour’s drive west of Oklahoma City, looking for a fresh start as her first marriage fell apart. In Hinton, she found a sense of community. As an assistant to the town clerk, she chatted with residents who came in to obtain a permit or pay a water bill.
“The whole town kind of funnels through the clerk’s office, and there are a lot of older people who just want to sit there and stay awhile,” her son Jim Ray said. “Mom would put her stuff down and talk to them, because she has a certain kind of kindness and patience.” In 2005, she ran for City Council with a slogan that paraphrased the words of 18thcentury Christian theologian John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, for as many people as you can, for as long as you possibly can.” Jack campaigned hard for her, and she won in a landslide, becoming the first woman elected to Hinton’s City Council in 100 years. Life at home was good, too. Jack adopted Sheryl’s children as his own. The couple bought a decrepit blacksmith shop next door to their house and demolished it to make room for a large garden, which Jack tended when he wasn’t providing security and cleaning services to area banks. Jack still slept on the couch most of the time, but he stopped drinking and smoking pot. For the first six years of their marriage, Sheryl said, everything seemed fine. Then, after Jack’s father died in 2003, he started to come unglued. He resumed drinking, and Sheryl began to worry about whether it was safe to have guns in the house. Jack Cornelius had what can only be called an All-American childhood. His father, Jack Sr., owned a popular Oklahoma City steakhouse and was involved in local politics. That idyllic upbringing was shattered by the Vietnam War. Eager to get some choice in his assignment, Jack Jr. didn’t wait to be drafted. Hoping to avoid the worst of the combat, he enlisted in the Army in 1966 and joined a military transportation battalion as a stevedore. Almost as soon as he arrived at the port of Cat Lai, however, North Vietnam launched a campaign of surprise attacks during an agreedupon cease-fire for the Tet, or lunar new year, in 1968. He described one attack in a letter to his father, which he mailed to the steakhouse so that his mother and young wife wouldn’t see it. “I know I have to write someone about this,” the letter begins. “If I don’t write and get it off my chest I’ll go out of my mind.” Over four handwritten pages, Jack described how 30 mortar rounds hit his compound overnight, along with heavy small-arms fire. No one was killed, but 15 Americans were wounded. “Somehow, I hit something or something hit me and split my big toe down the middle,” he wrote. Blood was everywhere. This letter, which Sheryl found in a sealed envelope while cleaning out a box six months after Jack died, became the key to unlocking her survivors’ benefits.
It offered proof that Jack did face combat while in Vietnam and evidence, written in his own handwriting, that he found the incident terrifying. Those were crucial ingredients in connecting his PTSD to military service. Sheryl got the county medical examiner to revise the investigative report on Jack’s death to add “post-traumatic stress disorder” as a “significant medical condition” that contributed to his suicide. She approached Hinton’s police chief, Shannon Pack, who wrote a declaration stating that Jack urged him “not to let helicopters fly over Hinton because it made him have flashbacks of Vietnam.” She filed a fresh petition with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and on May 20, 2010, the agency reversed itself and declared Jack’s death related to his military service. Two months later, more than a year after his death, the VA cut a $2,000 check to cover some of his funeral costs and soon after bumped Sheryl’s monthly checks to $1,215.
“The VA Said It Has No Timeline For Computerizing Claims Brought By Veterans’ Survivors”
But some observers say the delay in her case shows the system is broken, letting down veterans’ families just when they need help the most. On March 22, responding to a letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the agency’s undersecretary for benefits, Allison Hickey, said she “would like to see if some internal VA processes can be adjusted” so that some surviving spouses who haven’t remarried could begin receiving a monthly benefits check immediately when they file a claim. Documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveal that after a fouryear, $537 billion computerization effort, 97 percent of disability claims remain on paper. In a statement, the VA said it has no timeline for computerizing claims brought by veterans’ survivors. In the days before Jack Cornelius died, his family was filled with a sense of dread. Although Jack had never hurt Sheryl, he was so angry and drunk that she began to worry about her physical safety. One night, when her daughter, Sarah Dawn Ray, called, the two women had a premonition that the situation could soon turn violent. “I told her she should come stay with me in Oklahoma City,” Sarah said. Somehow, Sheryl got Jack to drive her to her daughter’s apartment. Meanwhile, Sheryl’s two sons, Jim and Ian Ray, continued checking in on Jack. They told her Jack seemed vacant, sitting alone in his chair, rarely interacting with anyone, including Ian’s 2-year-old daughter, his favorite grandchild. He stopped going to work.
On July 8, 2009, the family decided that Jack needed to be hospitalized to get intense psychiatric help. That evening, they traveled to Hinton in Ian’s pickup truck. As Ian waited at the car, smoking a cigarette, Sheryl and Jim entered the house. It was so quiet, they thought Jack had gone out. Then Jim saw Jack sitting in his favorite chair with a rifle in his hand. In a rush, Jim moved the rifle behind another chair so his mother wouldn’t see it and called for his brother to come take her out of the house. Ian guided Sheryl across the street to the police station. At that moment, she said, she knew Jack was dead. Nearly four years after Jack’s suicide, his passing still dominates Sheryl’s life. She’s moved in with her son Jim, who works for an oil and gas company. Her small bedroom is filled with items that commemorate Jack’s life and military service. His burial flag sits folded neatly on the floor next to her bed. A framed copy of the letter Jack wrote describing the horrors of Vietnam is on the wall, alongside a picture of Jack at 18, in uniform, smoking a cigarette, with a helmet that looks too big for his head.
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
Nothing has more revolutionary effect, and nothing undermines more the foundations of all state power, than the continuation of that wretched and brainless régime, which has the strength merely to cling to its positions but no longer the slightest power to rule or to steer the state ship on a definite course. -- Karl Kautsky; ‘The Consequences of the Japanese Victory and Social Democracy’
Post-Traumatic-Stress For Veterans In 2020
Photograph by Mike Hastie From: Mike Hastie To: Military Resistance Newsletter Sent: May 05, 2013 Subject: Post-Traumatic-Stress For Veterans in 2020 Post-Traumatic-Stress For Veterans in 2020 Traumatic memory should always go back to the source of the suffering, because if it does not, the victim will usually blame himself. When children are betrayed in a family system, quite often, the child takes on the responsibility for the crime. After all, it can't be the fault of the child's elders, because they are the caregivers. If the parents are emotionally absent, or abusive, children will perceive themselves as being lost. Belief systems are closely connected to the Fatherland, because that is supposed to be the moral compass for its citizens and soldiers. When the Fatherland is seen as the enemy, its citizens and soldiers find themselves without a country--without a family. At this point, memory cannot go back to its cultural roots for protection and direction, because memory itself has now become contaminated with lies. This is why so many people commit suicide. In memory of Dick Cheney. Mike Hastie Army Medic Vietnam May 5, 2013 Photo and caption from the portfolio of Mike Hastie, US Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71. (For more of his outstanding work, contact at: (firstname.lastname@example.org) T) One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71 December 13, 2004
Unemployed Veteran: Wow, I’m So Happy The Unemployment Rate Dropped
6 May 2013 by Paul, The Duffel Blog The following is an opinion piece written by Jason Sievers, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan now living in his parent’s basement. Hey, did you hear the news? The unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans was only 7.5 percent in April. That’s down from 9.25 in March. I must say, I’m absolutely ecstatic. In fact, I helped do my part to lower that percentage.
No, I didn’t get a job. Sure, I’ve been looking around quite a bit, and there are plenty of well-regarded positions open as a truck driver or a cashier at McDonalds. Hell, with my extensive infantry experience — with multiple firefights and bombs blowing me up in Iraq and Afghanistan — I could easily get a job as a security contractor so I can go and get in multiple firefights and have bombs blow me up in Syria or Pakistan. But I digress. What I mean is: I did my part to lower the unemployment rate, because I just ran out of unemployment checks last week. I just dropped out of the labor force. It’s all because I’m so encouraged there are so many jobs out there for me to do, that I decided I didn’t really want any more of that government cheese. Sure, they would have cut it off anyway, but I really didn’t want it. I mean, when you think about it — what’s a few hundred bucks going to do for me and my family, really? Besides, these checks are needed much more by unemployed people who didn’t ever serve in the military, because if it comes to it, I have already received pre-homeless training many times while sleeping on the ground in combat zones. To be honest, I already have my disability pension from the V.A. pending. That probably won’t take all that long to get, right? I’ve done my fair share of job interviews. I show up in a nice suit and a tie, you know the drill. But somehow when they get to the part on my resume that says I have military experience, they realize that I’m just way overqualified for the position. It’s ok though. They always thank me for my service before they have security guards escort me out of the building. I guess it’s because they want to make sure I don’t end up getting lost or something. Alright, well I have to go. I’ve heard Wal-Mart is hiring a bunch of vets nowadays, and my life’s dream has always been to be a door greeter at one of my hometown supercenters.
Master Race Plans New Cleansing Of Untermenschen From Their Sacred Soil:
“The Latest Round Of Expulsions Was Quietly Unveiled In October 2011, With The Israeli Civil Administration Hinting That Approximately 27,000 Bedouins Would Be Evicted From Their Homes In The Jordan Valley”
“The Bedouin Are Fighting To Exist (Here) Since 1967. Israel Has Been Trying To Displace Us Since Then”
Eid Hamis Jahalin from Khan Al-Ahmar village warns of the dangers from the eviction of Bedouin people. Credit: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours/IPS. May 5, 2013 By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, IPS-Inter Press Service
KHAN AL-AHMAR, Occupied West Bank Dozens of metal and wooden tents cling to the rocky hillside, just outside of Jerusalem along the road leading to the Dead Sea, while the unmistakable red roofs of Israeli settlements peak out from behind opposite hilltops. For 49-year-old Eid Hamis Jahalin, this quiet spot symbolises the potential centre of peace in the region, and one thing is clear: his family must be allowed to stay in its community. “The Bedouin are fighting to exist (here) since 1967. Israel has been trying to displace us since then,” Jahalin said, sipping tea in the shade of his family’s tent in the village of Khan Al-Ahmar. The Bedouin are an indigenous people “The whole world is talking about two states and two governments. If they get the Jahalin out of here, the border of Jerusalem will be the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. After that, where can you have two states?” Jahalin told IPS. Last week, local human rights groups announced that the Israeli Ministry of Defence is soon expected to unveil a new relocation plan for almost two dozen Bedouin communities living in the Jerusalem periphery, including Khan Al-Ahmar. This proposal involves forcibly displacing some 3,000 Jahalin Bedouin to an area in Nwei’mah near the city Jericho in the Jordan Valley, which would be under Palestinian Authority control. “It would put them all together in blocks of 800 units, which of course were not created according to the needs of these communities. They are very small plots. The density is too high. There will be no area for grazing, and this area is already used by other Bedouin communities,” said Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, an architect with Israeli planning rights group Bimkom. The new plan would also place the Jahalin community between numerous restricted areas, including an Israeli closed military zone, checkpoint and settlements, and a Palestinian Authority security forces training area. The Israeli government, however, says moving the Bedouin from their current location will greatly improve the quality and level of services they receive. “They are living there illegally and we are looking at a series of options,” Guy Inbar, spokesperson for the Israeli Civil Administration, told The Media Line, adding that no plan has been finalised yet. [Silly Bedouin. They don’t understand all this is for their own good. T] The Israeli Civil Administration is an Israeli military body that governs Area C of the occupied West Bank, which accounts for 60 percent of all the West Bank. Area C is under full Israeli control, and the Civil Administration regulates all Palestinian building and planning therein. According to Cohen-Lifshitz, numerous Israeli restrictions have made it so that Palestinian construction in Area C is only allowed on one percent of the land.
“They are trying to create a huge pressure with the demolition orders, with other restrictions, and creating what’s called the silent transfer. If (Palestinians) understand that they cannot live freely in Area C, then people will move to Area A and B, where they can build and live without restrictions,” he told IPS. The Jahalin Bedouin tribe was evicted from its land near Tel Arad, in Israel’s southern Negev desert region, in the early 1950s. Since then, the community has lived on the outskirts of Jerusalem. It is now surrounded by a handful of Israeli settlements, including the mega-settlement Ma’ale Adumim, which has a population of 40,000. Residents of Khan Al-Ahmar don’t have access to running water or electricity, and each structure in the village, including the local school, is subject to an Israeli demolition order. Israeli settlement expansion – including construction in the E-1 corridor located near Khan Al-Ahmar – also continues to threaten the village. The expansion would sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. In the late 1990s, in an earlier effort to expand Ma’ale Adumim, Israel displaced 200 Bedouin families living near Jerusalem to a new location near the municipal dumping grounds in Abu Dis, posing a serious health hazard for residents. “Previously relocated families report negative consequences, including health concerns, loss of livelihood, deteriorated living conditions, loss of tribal cohesion and erosion of traditional lifestyles,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) found. The latest round of expulsions was quietly unveiled in October 2011, with the Israeli Civil Administration hinting that approximately 27,000 Bedouins would be evicted from their homes in the Jordan Valley area within three to six years. The first phase of this plan – which was met with staunch local and international condemnation – involved expelling the Jahalin near Ma’ale Adumim. At the time, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which supports Palestinian refugees, stated that efforts to move the Jahalin, “may amount to individual and mass forcible transfers and forced evictions contrary to international humanitarian and international human rights law”. According to Eid Jahalin in Khan Al-Ahmar, the Israeli government must abandon its new plan to relocate the community. The state has only two options, he said: allow the Jahalin to live peacefully in their current location, or let them go back to their original lands in the Negev. “I want to live in a Bedouin village,” Jahalin said. “It’s like being a sardine in a tin, one next to another. Take that (relocation) plan and show it to Israelis and see if they would want to live there. Nobody would live there.”
[To check out what life is like under a murderous military occupation commanded by foreign terrorists, go to: www.rafahtoday.org The occupied nation is Palestine. The foreign terrorists call themselves “Israeli.”]
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CLASS WAR REPORTS
“Armed With Iron Rods And Rocks, Dozens Of Masked Members Of The Teachers’ Union In Guerrero State Attacked The Local Offices Of The Four Major Political Parties On Wednesday, Smashing Windows And Overturning Furniture”
They Also Set Fire To The Office Of The President’s Institutional Revolutionary Party;
“Teachers Marched Down Mexico City’s Main Boulevard, Temporarily Closing It Down”
“Protesters Also Attacked The State Congress With Rocks And Eggs”
Armed with iron rods and rocks, dozens of masked members of the teachers’ union in Guerrero State attacked the local offices of the four major political parties on Wednesday, smashing windows and overturning furniture. They also set fire to the office of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to which Mr. Peña Nieto belongs. Lenin Ocapmo Torres/European Pressphoto Agency
A demonstrator burned a photograph of President Enrique Peña Nieto during a violent protest in Guerrero State on Wednesday. Alejandrino Gonzalez/Associated Press
This week, protesters in Michoacán held up eight buses and kidnapped the drivers; took temporary control of two fuel trucks belonging to the national oil company; and declared an indefinite strike that is likely to affect thousands of students. [Thanks to Alan Stolzer, Military Resistance Organization, who sent this in.] April 25, 2013 By KARLA ZABLUDOVSKY, New York Times MEXICO CITY — One of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s signature efforts to shake up the country — a broad plan to overhaul the education system — has run into violent protests that underscore how difficult it may be to carry out, particularly in some volatile states with poor academic performance. Armed with iron rods and rocks, dozens of masked members of the teachers’ union in Guerrero State attacked the local offices of the four major political parties on Wednesday, smashing windows and overturning furniture. They also set fire to the office of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to which Mr. Peña Nieto belongs. On Thursday, in a further sign of the growing conflict over education changes, teachers marched down Mexico City’s main boulevard, temporarily closing it down. The education overhaul, which transfers power from the potent teachers’ union to the federal government, proposes periodic teacher evaluations to determine appointments, salaries and dismissals — a major adjustment for workers who are accustomed to buying or inheriting their positions and who have had, until now, virtual immunity from the state. The president’s plan, signed into law in February, and the subsequent arrest of the seemingly untouchable boss of the teachers’ union, Elba Esther Gordillo, were seen as political victories for Mr. Peña Nieto, whose agenda is focused on retooling the country’s education, labor, energy and telecommunication sectors. But additional legislation is needed to carry out the new education law, and dissenting teachers are trying to influence it through a mix of paralyzing protests and vandalism in parts of the country. “They won’t stop it,” said Eduardo Andere, an education expert at ITAM university. But growing pressure could push legislators to give secondary legislation “language that permits more local meddling,” he said. Other obstacles loom. A “pact for Mexico” that Mr. Peña Nieto reached with opposition parties on a range of issues is in danger, after rivals erupted over a recording in which PRI officials in one state were heard discussing how to use antipoverty programs to buy votes in coming local elections.
Mollifying the local offshoots of the teachers’ union was never going to be easy, as they historically have mobilized against any perceived threat to their power. The states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Michoacán, among the poorest in the country and with the lowest academic performance, have a particularly long history of mass unrest. “There isn’t a governor who can get them in line,” said Sergio Cárdenas, an expert on education at CIDE, a Mexico City research institute. “And they are capable of enormous mobilizations.” In Oaxaca, the site of violent strife set off by teachers’ protests in 2006, members of the teachers’ union blocked streets and entrances to shopping malls this month, bringing parts of the state capital to a virtual halt. This week, protesters in Michoacán held up eight buses and kidnapped the drivers; took temporary control of two fuel trucks belonging to the national oil company; and declared an indefinite strike that is likely to affect thousands of students. And in Guerrero, where civilian groups have taken up arms amid a wave of organized crime-related violence in recent months, members of the teachers’ union have closed down the highway connecting the tourist port of Acapulco to Mexico City on several occasions. Protesters also attacked the state congress with rocks and eggs. Few arrests have been made in connection with the protests, which may be slipping out of union leaders’ hands. “There are several actions that even we, of the negotiating commission, do not know about,” Minervino Morán, a spokesman for the protesters, said during an interview with Milenio Television.
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